2021: My late year in review

Published January 15, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Alex M. Eduque


Alex Eduque

I have to apologize for how late into this first month of the year this entry is. Ever since I have had the privilege of this writing space, it has been a tradition to start the year with a review of what was. To say that the first few weeks of the year were overwhelming and eventful is to say the very, very least, and so I decided to put this off to a time when I could be more reflective, and really take the time to think about all that was. Indeed, so much has changed, but a lot has also stayed the same. As cliché as that sounds, while the world went through yet another year of a pandemic, 2021 for me marked a year of significant change and growth. Truly, life does go on.

The first quarter of 2021 for me was marked by my church wedding. Though I had gotten married civilly with a betrothal the October before, there was something truly surreal about making things official in front of our Lord. And although things did not turn out as planned – ECQ was declared the week of – there was also something truly special about getting married solely in front of immediate family, with our sponsors and chosen friends present on Zoom. I have always dreamed of a small wedding, and all my life I had come to a realization that this would be difficult to achieve given the size of my family. But truly, when you expect it the least, God knows what is in your heart. While this milestone may have been celebrated in a much more muted way, what and who mattered most were present, and my wedding day is something I will most definitely remember forever.

In June, I received the news that my husband was promoted at work, and was offered a job in Mexico. In just two weeks, I found myself preparing to move to literally the other side of the world, in the midst of a pandemic at that. While I always knew his job entailed posts abroad, I did not expect it at that moment given the global situation. But then again, God always has greater plans when you are busy making your own, or rather, when you think you have your own figured out. The following month, we packed our bags and off we went, thinking we would be back the month later to gather more of our things. But alas, as fate would have it, Manila went through yet another lockdown, and it just made more sense to stay put. And while we have been travelling on this side of the world, we have not been home since, and I have learned that indeed, I can survive, and life is just as rosy with two suitcases full of things. Forced purging if you will, but indeed, life happens, and we roll with it.

The holidays were spent in New York with my family, and I was reminded yet again that home is indeed where the heart is. Just being all together and complete was the greatest gift. And though the year did not end in the smoothest of ways with Omicron literally at our doorstep, we are still grateful today for good health, recoveries and the blessings that God has bestowed upon us despite trying and tumultuous times. Truly, even in the most uncertain of days, we cling onto faith and surrender. At the end of the day, change is the only constant, and with accepting that and adjusting accordingly, we find ourselves growing, and attaining progress.

2022. To some degree started off as an extension of 2021. And although it was quite the bumpy and rough road to start the year, it was just a reminder that indeed, “What does not kill you makes you stronger [and] stand a little longer.” That strength and resilience are two traits we must never take lightly or for granted, and that “God will never give you more than you can hold.” Dear 2022, I can only pray that you be kinder, gentler, but above all, that you may continue to teach me things about myself I have yet to discover. Onwards and upwards!